So the season that changed everything draws to a close.
After a rough emotional week in the city, I escaped up to the cottage. I was theoretically going to look for jobs, but I ended up writing two things for WORN, reading Through Black Spruce and starting the epic Infinite Jest, and going for quiet walks, retracing childhood paths on Snake Island. I tried to keep updating my blog, but my stats dropped dramatically as I assume my loyal readers (my Maxiles, if you will) were also en vacances. I think I was physically and mentally exhausted as, no matter how much rest I got at night, I kept randomly falling asleep in the middle of the day.
The events of that week might have sent me into a mini-depression. I would be fine during the day, listening to 1940’s music with my parents and Granda, watching Jane Austen movies and discussing the Bennet sisters after dinner, but late at night I would toss and turn in the darkness, unable to keep my mind from upsetting thoughts. I dwelled on disappointing dates, on drama with friends, on unsaid things to the Gentleman. One night it sunk in that I had quit my job and didn’t have another one lined up.
Being up at the cottage was an escape from the real world, dodging the pressures of adulthood being one of the defining characteristics of our generation (at least according to the recent cover stories of both The Walrus and The New York Times magazines).
As relaxing reading in the hammock and watching the sunsets was, how long could I keep summer going?
Dervla came up and joined us on the weekend, ridiculously excited to be invited to Snake Island. She came equipped with hardcore sunscreen, nonfiction about Africa, the DVD of Good Hair, and a six-pack of something called ‘Vex in the City’, a bottled carbonated Cosmopolitan. She relished all the standard cottage traditions: we cut our feet on zebra mussels, drank beer and ate chips while tearing apart Vanity Fair’s Best Dressed List, and tromped my parents in a drunken game of cribbage. Our good times were only interrupted by Dervla’s occasional sighs of “I don’t want to go back to the city!”
“We’re not talking about Sunday!” I kept reminding her.
No end of summer. No growing up.
Then I received word of two separate wedding engagements: one of two fabulous urban lesbians, which I learned through facebook, and the other of my more-conventional friend from university, who wrote me a breathless email asking me to call her as she was decidedly not going to inform people via facebook. I have not been to any weddings of close friends, nor to those of anyone my age. I have wanted to, because I fully intend on being the saucy one who misbehaves ala Four Weddings and a Funeral, but have not been given a chance. But I also took comfort in the absence of weddings. If my contemporaries were still not married, even those in long-term relationships and living together, then I could still think of us as being in our unorganized and experimental early twenties.
Not anymore. We are in our mid-twenties, a short, bull-shitty demographic which rapidly becomes late-twenties.
And just as we inevitably become grown-ups, Sunday, as it must, arrived. Dervla and I stood on the rickety dock waiting for the ferry (the dock being rickety because I participated in its putting in).
“What are you doing this week?” she asked me.
“Umm, I have no idea.” And I had an epiphany. “Maybe I’m so anxious right now because I have no idea what’s happening next in my life. I have no job. I have no boyfriend. I haven’t even pictured the autumn. My life hasn’t been this unclear since the winter and I got back from Ireland.”
“And look at all you’ve accomplished since then,” Dervla reminded me.
“Yeah, I know. It’s scary, but uncertainty holds great possibilities.”
I am back at the cottage now and, although I have the September Vogue, I swear I will start applying to jobs and get past page 250 (of about 1,000) of Infinite Jest. This summer has been one of the longest and most eventful of my life, and a good one, despite some set-backs. But, as they say in fashion, there’s always another season.
It’s a new month.
It’s a new world.